Best Pumpkin Cheesecake

We’re sharing the BEST pumpkin cheesecake today! This baked cheesecake is thick and rich with real pumpkin and the perfect amount of pumpkin spice.

What’s the best cheesecake (next to plain baked cheesecake of course)? Pumpkin spice cheesecake!

I love pumpkin pie, but I’d take a slice of creamy pumpkin cheesecake pie over traditional pumpkin pie any day.

I’m taking you step by step through this easy homemade cheesecake recipe that features pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. It’s easy and tastes amazing. THIS is how to impress your holiday guests!

bite out of creamy pumpkin cheesecake

Easy Baked Cheesecake

Most people think that baked cheesecake is hard to make. I’m going to prove to you today that if you follow our instructions step by step, it’s easy.

This cheesecake only takes about 15 minutes to mix up. There’s no need to pull out a stand mixer. And it uses a whole small can of pumpkin puree, meaning no leftover pumpkin to find two months later in the back of your fridge.

Cheesecake Ingredients

Here are the key ingredients you need for cheesecake filling:

  • cream cheese. Full fat cream cheese makes the cheesecake the creamiest!
  • white AND brown sugar. We use a mix of both. The brown sugar helps the flavor be deeper.
  • vanilla extract.
  • pumpkin puree. NOT pumpkin pie filling. Just straight up pumpkin.
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • sour cream. We use full fat sour cream. Because this is cheesecake we’re talking about. No reason to try to make it healthy!
  • large eggs
pumpkin cheesecake with caramel

Best Crust for Pumpkin Cheesecake

The first step to making a pumpkin cheesecake is to prepare the crust. You can use graham crackers, cinnamon graham crackers, oreos, or golden oreos, but we think gingersnaps are the best.

Use a food processor to mix the crushed crackers, butter and sugar together. Or mix in a bowl. Either way works!

You’ll bake the crust for 5-6 minutes before adding the filling. This will just help the crust hold together better when you are serving it.

gingersnap crust in springform pan

How to Make the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake

Mixing the cheesecake batter should take less than 15 minutes. It’s super easy.

How to Mix Cheesecake Batter

  • Place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Use 22 ounces of cream cheese which is 2 8-ounce blocks and then an additional 6 ounces. The cream cheese should be at room temperature.
  • Use a hand mixer on low speed to cream the cream cheese until it is smooth. Don’t beat too much air into the cream cheese. Mix on low speed just until smooth and any lumps are out.
mixing cheesecake batter
  • With the mixer on low speed, mix in the sugars, vanilla extract and pumpkin. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Mix in the sour cream and mix on low speed just until blended.
  • Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Use a hand whisk to gently whisk the eggs together to break up the yolks. Don’t whisk them too much. You don’t want them frothy.
mixing cheesecake batter in a glass bowl
  • Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture and blend the eggs into the cream cheese mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix just until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the springform pan with the pre-baked crust.

Baking Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit.
  • Heat 4 quarts of water on the stove or in the microwave until steaming but not necessarily boiling.
  • Pour about an inch and a half of water in a 10×15″ baking pan.
  • Place the wrapped springform pan into the water bath.
  • The water should come about halfway up the side of the pan. Pour in additional water if needed.
unbaked cheesecake in waterbath
  • Place the cheesecake (in the water bath) in the preheated oven.
  • Allow the cake to bake for 65 minutes. Do not open the oven.
  • After 60 minutes, turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for another 5 hours. Don’t open the oven. Just allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven while the oven cools.
  • After 5 hours, remove the cheesecake from the oven and the pan.

Did you catch the theme? Don’t open the oven while the cheesecake is baking and cooling. It will cause sudden temperature changes and may cause the cheesecake to crack.

How to Prevent Bubbles in Cheesecake

The key to having a thick, dense cheesecake is to not overmix the batter. Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature so they mix together easily. If you are using a hand mixer, have it on low speed and scrape the sides of the bowl as you mix. After adding the eggs, only mix until the batter is combined.

Some professionals suggest covering the batter and allowing it to refrigerate overnight so any bubbles settle out.

After we pour the cheesecake into the springform pan, we tap it a few times on the cupboard. This helps bubbles come out too!

Do you have to bake cheesecake in a waterbath?

The key way to keep your cheesecake from having cracks is by baking it in a waterbath. It gives the absolute best texture and will help the cake be smooth on top. It also helps the cheesecake to cook evenly. The outside won’t overbake while you are waiting for the inside to heat up.

A cheesecake will still bake without a water bath, but it will not turn out the best.

perfect pumpkin cheesecake with no cracks in springform pan

How long does cheesecake have to chill?

It’s best to let a cheesecake sit in the refrigerator overnight to set completely. Because it takes so long to bake and set, you’ll want to make this at least the day before you serve it.

How to Store Cheesecake

Store cheesecake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Cheesecake actually tastes better when it is not quite as cold, so allow the cheesecake to sit for 20 minutes or so before serving.

pumpkin cheesecake with toffee

Can pumpkin cheesecake be frozen?

Yes! This best pumpkin cheesecake is a great make ahead dessert and can be frozen whole or in slices. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap, then wrap it a second time or place it in an airtight container. Do the same with any slices that you have left over.

You can freeze cheesecake for up to 2 months.

slice of pumpkin cheesecake on a plate

Other Pumpkin Desserts

pumpkin cheesecake with caramel
pumpkin cheesecake with caramel

Best Pumpkin Cheesecake

5 from 3 votes
We're sharing the BEST pumpkin cheesecake today! This baked cheesecake is thick and rich with real pumpkin and the perfect amount of pumpkin spice.
Servings 12
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 11 minutes
Resting Time 5 hours

Ingredients
 

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the cheesecake:

  • 22 ounces cream cheese 2 ¾ blocks (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 10 ounces sour cream room temperature (about 1 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 large eggs whisked, room temperature

Instructions
 

  • **Plan ahead and make sure the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs are at room temperature. This will help the ingredients cream together more smoothly.**
  • Spray a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray.

Make the crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the gingersnap crumbs, melted butter and sugar.
  • Press the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan.
  • Bake the crust for about 6 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the crust to cool completely.
  • Place the pan in the silicone water bath mold. Or you can wrap the outside of the springform pan with two layers of foil. This will help seal the bottom so that water doesn’t get in.

Make the cheesecake filling:

  • Place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Use 22 ounces of cream cheese which is 2 8-ounce blocks and then an additional 6 ounces. The cream cheese should be at room temperature.
  • Use a hand mixer on low speed to cream the cream cheese until it is smooth. Don’t beat too much air into the cream cheese. Mix on low speed just until smooth and any lumps are out.
  • With the mixer on low speed, mix in the sugars, vanilla extract and pumpkin. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Mix in the sour cream and mix on low speed just until blended.
  • Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Use a hand whisk to gently whisk the eggs together to break up the yolks. Don’t whisk them too much. You don’t want them frothy.
  • Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture and blend the eggs into the cream cheese mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix just until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the springform pan with the pre-baked crust.
  • Tap the pan on the counter 4-5 times. This will help bring any air bubbles to the top so that they pop. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes. Tap again if any more air bubbles surface. This will help your cheesecake have a nice thick texture.
  • Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit.
  • Heat 4 quarts of water on the stove or in the microwave until steaming but not necessarily boiling.
  • Pour about an inch and a half of water in a 10×15″ baking pan.
  • Place the wrapped springform pan into the water bath.
  • The water should come about halfway up the side of the pan. Pour in additional water if needed.
  • Place the cheesecake (in the water bath) in the preheated oven.
  • Allow the cake to bake for 65 minutes. Do not open the oven.
  • After 60 minutes, turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for another 5 hours. Don’t open the oven. Just allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven while the oven cools.
  • After 5 hours, remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath. Remove the foil wrap but leave the the cheesecake in the springform pan to support it.
  • Loosely cover the cheesecake on de it is room temperature and place it in the refrigerator to firm up overnight.
  • Serve the next day with your favorite toppings.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cheesecake being cut into 12 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cheesecake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 328mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 6595IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 455
Keyword best pumpkin cake, cheesecake recipe, thanksgiving dessert
A piece of pumpkin cheesecake on a plate with caramel

About Julie Clark

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I did make this cake at our Canadian Thanksgiving, and it is AMAZING!!!!!! I will be making this recipe again. Lovely texture and flavour! A must try!!! 😊

  2. Where can I purchase the silicone pan you placed your cheesecake pan in? This would be soooooo much better than using foil! Mine always allows water to seep in to my cheesecake.

  3. I was so excited to try this! I followed the directions to a T. I can’t even tell you how hard it was for me to leave it in the oven for 5 hours after baking!! However, when I finally got to pull it out of the oven and release the pan, the whole thing cracked in half and went wonky all around : ( It seems very soft in the center, not firm AT ALL. The little I scraped off the edges tastes amazing, and I’m REALLY hoping the extra foil I put around the edges to support it overnight hold it up to keep its shape. I don’t know what could have made the cake more firm, but it was more of a mousse type texture (I did not over-beat the mixture). I chose this recipe over many others because I *thought* the extra time and effort involved sounded like it would result in the best cheesecake, but I’m not sure I would opt for this recipe in the future given the ugly outcome : ( Hoping some toasted pecans and caramel toppings will make it pretty.

    1. Yes, just don’t fill the pan too full because it will rise slightly when baking. You may have just a little extra filling.

  4. 5 stars
    Love this recipe, came out perfect. Great blend of 3 of my favorite holiday foods, ginger snaps, cheesecake and pumpkin pie. Made some salted caramel sauce, paired great with this.

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